Need motivation to get more sleep?

Deborah Kris had an article in The Washington Post last week on the importance for teens to get enough sleep. The thing is, sleep isn’t just important for teens! More and more research is being done on the impact of sleep deprivation across all age categories.

We’ve all experienced periodic lack of sleep and you know the feeling.

  • Your cognitive functioning is impaired.
  • It’s hard to focus, to concentrate.
  • Your body feels heavy, achey, and clumsy.
  • You feel grumpy and might have head spins and negative thoughts.
  • You feel more sensitive and impatient.

One teen in a recent study summed it up beautifully: “When I don’t get enough sleep, everything is harder.” Continue reading

Hot tips from the Food Revolution Summit

I am loving listening to the free, online Food Revolution Summit this week. The Summit runs 3 hours a day for 8 days each spring. Each day, there are three presentations from a mix of presenters – doctors, nutritionists, disease survivors. I don’t catch all of the sessions and some resonate more than others, but I have to say that listening to the Summit over the past couple of years has drastically changed how I eat and how healthy I feel.

We’re about half way through this year’s Summit and here are my key take-aways compiled from listening to a number of speakers. Continue reading

The huge impact of cutting back on the time you eat

A fundamental step to getting organized is to take care of your precious self. If you’ve gained weight, aren’t exercising, or aren’t sleeping well,  your #1 task is to take care of yourself before you attempt anything else. You have one body for this lifetime, and the sooner you feel better, the better off you’ll be as you age.

Think of your health as a foundation rock. If you get that right, you can build all sorts of things on top of it.

One of the trickiest things many of us deal with is gaining weight as we age. Stats tell us that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. And as the years tick by, the pounds seem to come out of nowhere. Right? And once they’re on your body, they feel impossible to lose, and they affect everything – from blood sugar, to blood pressure, to good knees. Continue reading

Get some sleep!

Our society seems to value getting by on very little sleep. How many times have you heard someone say, “Yep, I get by on five hours a night,” and you think, “I should be able to do that.”

But the thing is your body needs deep, uninterrupted sleep every night. Sleep is when your brain reorganizes and recharges. When you cut that short, you wake up groggy. You can’t answer a question until you’ve had at least two cups of coffee. You fantasize about taking a nap as you head into a late afternoon meeting. You have a heck of a time staying focused.  And good luck getting to the things you want to get done.

You may feel like you’re getting by just fine, but new medical studies show that a lack of regular sleep can have significant health implications – with brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, and on your over-all good health.

I loved a recent write-up in the Smithsonian about how even jellyfish have to sleep. This means that this sea creature becomes completely vulnerable for certain periods of the day or night – and yet has survived for millennia. Continue reading

100 Days of Wellness

I’ve been looking for a local meditation class and stumbled on this site with 100 wellness exercises. The videos are short, 4-6 minutes each, and focus on different aspects of feeling better – by being more grateful, clearing clutter, getting more sleep, beating sugar, and… you get the idea. It’s a great list.

Being a “get it done” kind of girl, I was like, “I’ll do all of these today,” and started to click through one to the next. But I decided instead to stop and spend a day on each one. I’ve tried to remind myself lately that I have time. I don’t have to get everything done right away. It’s a huge temptation for me to think, “Yes. Check. Got it done. Move on.” And rarer for me to take the time to deeply contemplate a thought or idea – especially if it’s a challenge or something negative about who I am or how I think. Continue reading

Take a walk!

Inspired by the recent Food Revolution Summit, I am reading Dr. Dean Ornish’s book, The Spectrum. The bottom line of Dr. Ornish’s thinking: If you want to live a long, healthy life, pay attention to what you eat. Exercise, but not to excess. And practice stress reduction techniques like meditation or yoga.

There’s no big news there, but what was news to me is how exercise helps you beyond being in better shape and maybe losing a little weight.

According to Dr. Ornish’s studies, regular exercise: Continue reading

The impact of sleep on your ability to organize

Getting enough sleep is a vital part of being organized. If you head isn’t clear, you can’t plan, you can’t focus, and it’s hard to get anything done.

Besides messing with your ability to organize, lack of sleep makes it hard for you to learn and retain information, affects your judgment, and makes you more forgetful. It has a clear impact on many aspects of your health, messes with your immune system, can decrease your sex drive, and your skin ages faster. Studies have also found direct links between lack of sleep and depression. AND you are more likely to have an accident.

So how can you add some sleep magic to your life? Change your sleep habits. Continue reading